The tax office has rejected almost half the freelance contracts which have been submitted for approval as replacements for the VAR freelance declaration, according to figures published by junior finance minister Eric Wiebes.
Small firms organisation MKB Belangen used freedom of information legislation to access the figures.
So far, nearly 4,500 contracts have been sent to the tax office for checking since May. Of them, half have not yet been analysed and 1,033 have been rejected, Wiebes said.
In effect, freelancers have to sign a contract with all their clients which shows they are self employed. This means they must use their own tools, must be free to carry out the work as they think fit and must be replaceable – ie not a key member of a team.
Contracts are not compulsory but if the tax office decides that a freelancer is effectively an employee, the employer will be liable for social insurance premiums and other payments. In the current set-up, premiums are the responsibility of the freelancer.
MKB Belangen says the current situation with the new contracts is a ‘bloodbath’ and the number of rejections is shocking.
In addition, it is taking tax officials almost 11 weeks to assess a contract, not six as promised, the organisation says.
A spokeswoman for Wiebes described the criticism as ‘nonsense’. ‘We are getting cases which require a decision on whether someone is a freelancer or effectively employed,’ she said. ‘That is exactly what the law is supposed to do.’
The government has brought in a change-over period of one year to try and says tax officials will take a lenient approach until 2017.
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